Jess, a future professional and reader of the blog, asked me some questions about going to cosmetology school. I’m answering here (with her permission of course!), because this might be interesting to anyone considering going to hair school.
Great, I will only be about 3 months behind you I think…you started in June, correct? I am going to another school in my area on Tues., to compare to the school I am registered at…if I get a better “feeling” at that school, I might switch! If there is anything that you have learned/discovered that you didnt realize would be an issue or of importance, please let me know so that I can make sure to ask about it! – I also read another girls blog (who has already graduated) where she stated that if they turn a client away, they are to clock out and go home! She wasnt comfortable with this clients texture or the specific cut that the client wanted, so she didnt want to screw it up. And they made her clock out and go home! I think that’s ridiculous. How would that sort of situation play out at your school?Anyway, I have lots of other questions but I will pace myself and space them out. Oh and I was going to tell you, you should check on Craigslist for mannequin heads to use for practice! I almost bought a few just to practice on before school, but decided to wait. I couldnt find any for sale in my area, so I just did an advanced search with google and looked for heads for sale on craigslist..and then emailed those people and asked if they were willing to ship. There are lots of students who dropped out of school, and just looking to sell their kits for cheap. Its something to look into!Alright..have a nice day off! ttyl!!Jess
P.S. I will be using the Milady books…I’m sure it has the same basic info as Pivot Point. Oh and how many hours do you need, to become licensed? Its the equivalent of about 10 months, for me.
I started in June, so you would be three months behind me – but that doesn’t mean you’re necessarily going to be exactly three months behind me in skills. You might learn things in a different order than I did!
Definitely go check out all the schools you could potentially go to – and be wary, most of the admissions girls from hair schools (at least here) are almost like army recruiters. They are usually super peppy and know how to get you really pumped up, because they are trying to sell their school to you.
Ask if you can talk to the teachers you would have. A good curriculum is only as good as the teachers who teach it. Try to talk to them and see if you think they can give you a quality education. The school I’m at has decent teachers, but when I went to Vegas for NAHA, they sent classes and teachers from every school (it’s a chain of schools in Canada), and I really didn’t get a great feeling from a lot of the other teachers I met. So even in the same chain of schools, it can vary from location to location.
And about that girl having problems turning away a client… I smell bologna. Of course you would be allowed to turn away a client in school, if you had a good reason. If it was your jilted ex lover, or a crazy homeless person who keeps grabbing your scissors, or a guy who is being really inappropriate with you, etc. No school worth it’s salt wouldn’t let you tell those clients to take a hike. More likely, they would have kicked them out before you got the chance.
But turning a client down because you’re not comfortable with their hair is a load of bollocks, imho. If you were a licensed stylist in a real salon then I might accept that as a valid reason to turn someone down (but then, if you were a fully fledged stylist I would hope they would have enough experience to tackle something like that), but in a school environment, where you’re learning, you’re just not going to be “comfortable” doing everything. That’s just the way it is, and I am willing to bet that what happened with the other girl you mentioned was something like this:
- Client came in.
- Student saw client and got worried because she didn’t know what to do.
- Student let herself get all worked up, instead of asking the teacher for advice.
- Student stalled for time while talking to client and built up the stress level in her head.
- Student finally talked to the teacher, having reached a super stressed state, and was unable to take in any of the teachers advice or get her head in the game.
- Student protested that she couldn’t do the job (while if she hadn’t let herself get so stressed out, she might have been able to, and might have learned a lot in the process).
- Teacher said she had to do the job, it’s why she’s at school in the first place.
- Student got sent home for refusing to do it, and blogged about what happened, the way she saw it.
I see this exact thing happen at school fairly often. It is a very challenging place, and it demands a lot out of you – it’s like having to jump out of a speeding car and hit the ground running. You have to grow as a person, you have to keep up, and you can’t afford to second guess yourself or stress yourself out, because the second you do that you’ll trip and never catch up.
I’m very glad I didn’t enroll until now, because I really think I wouldn’t have had the maturity and experience to handle this environment even one or two years ago.
And the fact is, a school is full of students! You’re not expected to be master stylists, or to already know exactly what to do. And the people who come in to get their hair cut in a school know that. Sure, they may not be very happy with you if you give them a bad haircut, but that’s no excuse throwing up your hands and giving up.
So expect hair school to be very, very challenging. And remember, that’s not a bad thing at all! It weeds out the people you’d rather not be going to school with anyway. 😀
And as far as hours, my course is 1400 hours in school, after which I need another 1400 hours of apprenticing before I can become a licensed stylist in Canada.
I hope this helps! And feel free to ask any other questions you have! 🙂